If you're anything like me your thoughts wonder toward remote control flying fun when the weather shifts from winter cold toward spring warming.
But you can't just launch any RC aircraft into the sky. The changing weather conditions don't yet suit some of those models we love to send into the blue, though here in Indiana the forecast for some coming days steer my thoughts to flying fun.
The weather person this morning predicted record setting temperatures in the next few days. But does that mean I can take to the runways and launching pads with any air traveling craft I like flying?
Maybe, although I won't know that until I lick a finger each time I head outside.
Spring weather changes so quickly that you must test the air before you light that radio control engine up. And even then the weather might make a sudden change after your bird is in the air.
When the air is calm any model flies with no problem. But if the wind decides to blow you might lose your toy.
Blimps certainly require extremely calm days, and even then most are suited more for indoor operation than outdoor. Doesn't take much to knock one of those helium balloons off course, or cause them to defy your flight control attempts.
The bigger remote control airplanes and jets work okay in winds up to moderate speeds, and offer some great opportunities for getting an early spring start at heading into the clouds.
The more powerful flyers promise you the most fun if you're headed outside to fly before June or July in the Midwest.
If you fly the small, slower airplanes the outdoors isn't your best destination unless the day is super calm. The same goes for the helicopters. The helos operate better inside than in the wind too, and many RC helicopter designs demand indoor flying. They just don't act right in open-air environments.
You can't fly most models if it's raining of course. The electrics don't care much for water unless you seal them to protect the working components from moisture. So even if the temperature is up watch the sky for cloudy conditions. You don't want a sudden downpour ruining not only your day, but also future playtime until you fix or replace a drowned aircraft.
Your biggest threat in spring is sunny days. They're deceptive because sudden breezes and wind gusts hit you with no warning, and they bring doom for your radio control aircraft.
The slightest breeze pushes a helicopter around so easily that you lose flight control, and your helo takes off on its own course. You have no idea where it's flying. The same thing happens to the smaller airplanes, though they handle stronger breezes than the helicopters.
Sudden gusts are your worst enemies. Doesn't matter if you're flying an RC airplane or helicopter. A sudden gust pushes it off course quickly, and if any obstacle is present (a building, a light pole, or a tree, etc.) your model might slam into it. Then all you have is a handful of kindling.
I know you're impatient to get your remote control aircraft back into the air, and I wish you all the RC flying fun you can handle.
But watch that sky for threatening conditions, and make sure the spring weather conditions suit your flying activities. Otherwise that weather might turn your fun into gloom.